In Korean, 스케줄 (schedule) doesn’t mean schedule!

In Korean, 스케줄 (schedule) doesn’t mean schedule!


 

Let’s say a Korean friend makes an appointment for tomorrow. He or she will certainly ask you, “내일  스케줄 있어 [neil seukejul isseo]?” 

If you’re at an intermediate level, then you’ll have no problem translating it word by word. Sadly, however, you’d fail to understand the real meaning.

The literal translation is, “Do you have a schedule tomorrow?” So how would you respond to the question? Yes, you must have A schedule, though it’s just the usual routine: get up, go to work, come home, pass out.

As everybody knows, borrowed words (also called loanwords) go through meaning change. And that’s what’s happened to 스케줄 [seukejul]. In Korean, 스케줄 tends to indicate the plans or appointments themselves, not a list or timetable of planned things.

 

In summary, 스케줄 has two meanings.

① Newly added: appointments, plans

② Same as English: list or timetable of planned activities

Keep in mind that the first is used more often than second. For the meaning ‘list,’ ‘일정표 [iljeongpyo]’ is preferred.

 

With this change, 스케줄 있다 [seukejul itta] takes on the meanings below.

① to have appointments or plans

② to be busy

③ be unavailable

 

Let’s try translating this sentence: 제 남편은 내일 스케줄 있어요 [je nampyeoneun neil seukejul isseoyo]. 

Word List   
제 [je]my남편 [nampyeon]husband
은 [eun](consonant +) topic marker내일 [neil]tomorrow
스케줄 [seukejul]schedule있다 [itta]to be, to exist, to have

Literally, it’s “My husband has a schedule”; it doesn’t mean “My husband has a list or timetable of planned things.” Instead, it implies the three things below.

① My husband has an appointment

② My husband is busy tomorrow.

③ My husband is not available tomorrow.

As you can see, 스케줄 있어요 can be used as an excuse when you want to turn down an appointment or invitation.

 

Now let’s look at some dialogues for practice. You’ll easily get the hang of this word.

 

A: 오늘 스케줄 있어요? [oneul seukejul isseoyo]

  • Literal translation: Do you have a schedule today?
  • Implied meaning: Are you available/ free today?

B: 아니요, 별 거 없어요. [aniyo byeol geo eopsseoyo]

  • Literal translation: No, I have nothing special to do.
  • Implied meaning: I’m available/ free today.
Word List   
오늘 [oneul]today스케줄 [seukejul]schedule
있다 [itta]to be, to exist, to have아니요 [aniyo]no
없다 [eopda]not to be, not to exist, not to have

 

A: 이번 주말에 스케줄 있어요? [ibeon jumare seukejul isseoyo]

  • Literal translation: Do you have a schedule this weekend?
  • Implied meaning: Are you available/ free this weekend?

B: 네, 친구랑 놀기로 했어요. [ne chingurang nolgiro hesseoyo]

  • Literal translation: Yes, I’ll hang out with my friend.
  • Implied meaning: I’m not available/ free this weekend.
Word List   
이번 주말 [ibeon jumal]this weekend스케줄 [seukejul]schedule
있다 [itta]to be, to exist, to have네 [ne]yes
친구 [chingu]friend놀다 [nolda]to hang out, to play

 

A: 내일 스케줄 없으면 같이 영화보러 갈래요? [neil seukejul eopsseumyeon gachi yeonghwaboreo galreyo]

  • Literal translation: If you don’t have a schedule tomorrow, do you want to go see a movie together?
  • Implied meaning: If you’re available/ free tomorrow, let’s go see a movie with me.

B: 네, 좋아요. [ne joayo]

  • Literal translation: Yes, good.
  • Implied meaning: Yeah, that sounds great.
Word List   
내일 [neil]tomorrow스케줄 [seukejul]schedule
없다 [eopda]not to be, not to exist, not to have같이 [gachi]together
영화 [yeonghwa]movie보다 [boda]to see, to watch
가다 [gada]to go네 [ne]yes
좋다 [jota]to like, to be okay

 

A: 토요일에 시간 있어요? [toyoire sigan isseoyo]

  • Literal translation: Do you have time this Saturday?
  • Implied meaning: Are you available/ free this Saturday?

B: 이번 주말에 스케줄이 많아요. [ibeon jumare seukejuri manayo]

  • Literal translation: I have lots of schedules this weekend.
  • Implied meaning: I have a lot on my schedule this weekend./ I’m busy this weekend.
Word List   
토요일 [toyoil]Saturday시간 [sigan]time
있다 [itta]to be, to exist, to have이번 주말 [ibeon jumal]this weekend
스케줄 [seukejul]schedule많다 [manta]many, much, lots of

 

Reference:

“Schedule Meaning In The Cambridge English Dictionary”. Dictionary.Cambridge.Org, 2018, https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/schedule. Accessed 28 July 2018.